Iceland 2021 – Glymur Falls and Reykjadalur Hot Springs Thermal River

Today started off with Dominos Pizza for breakfast, a strong start for the fuel I needed to hike to Glymur Falls, Iceland’s second highest waterfall, which cascades 198 metres to valley below.

After scarfing down my pizza, which I have to note tastes significantly better than Dominos Pizza back in Canada, I grabbed a coffee from the lobby area in my hotel and proceeded to drive about 75 minutes to Glymur Falls. The trail starts off walking relatively flat for about 1.5km through some shale and shrubs until you get to a cave. You descend some stairs through the cave before shortly arriving at the first of two rivers crossings. This is where I ran into Kim and Sander, a travelling couple from Chicago. We ended up taking pictures of each other crossing the river, and stayed with each other for the remainder of the hike. The river crossing has a log and a hand line to assist you in getting across.

After crossing the river the trail starts to get very steep, with some areas where you have to scramble. luckily there are ropes to assist you if required. You can start to see the sheer magnificence of the waterfall cascading to the valley below. There was also quite a few birds perched on ledges and flying down into the valley.

You continue climbing until you get to the top of the waterfall where you cross the Botnsa River for a second time. This time the river was much wider, but was quite shallow. I had to stop and take my shoes off, and put on my water shoes to cross the freezing cold river.

After crossing the river you continue to loop back towards the car, with a fairly steep descent in some areas. I said bye to Kim and Sander and wished them well on the rest of their trip.

I was starting to get hungry so it was time to source some lunch. I drove back to Reykjavik and stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant called Viethouse for some nice hot beef pho.

After lunch I drove about an hour south to Reykjadalur Hot Springs Thermal River, a famous hot spring river where you can soak in the hot water and take in the beautiful views. There’s a parking lot and a restaurant at the base of the hike, where you have to pay a nominal parking fee of about $2 CDN/hour. The 4km hike to the thermal river takes about 1 hour, as you have to ascend 347 metres. Along the hike to the geothermally active portion of the river you are presented with a beautiful view of a fairly significant waterfall.

Upon arriving at the geothermally active portion of the river you’ll notice that there are some wall partitions for you to have a bit of privacy to change into your bathing suit before you jump into the hot water. I’m unsure of the exact temperature but I’d probably place it closer to 40-42°C, as I found it hotter than the Blue Lagoon. I soaked in the river for about 40 minutes before getting changed and headed back to my car to drive back to my hotel.

Tomorrow I’m heading on a three day hike on Landmannalaugar Trail so it was time to pack my bags and drop them off at some rental lockers At the hotel I packed my bags and dropped them off at some rental lockers at Reykjavik Bus Terminal. It was also time to drop off my rental car, so I dropped that off as well. I was getting fairly hungry so I decided to try out a local hot dog stand called Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. This is apparently the best place to go for some late night hot dogs if you’ve had too much too drink.

After having a hot dog I figured it was time to try one of the local scooters, since I was so far away from my hotel. I rode back to my hotel and get ready for bed as I have to wake up very early tomorrow morning for a 630am bus to Landmannalaugar. Be sure to check back soon to continue on with my Iceland adventures.

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August 21st 2016 – New Zealand Day 1

Today I woke up at 6:30am so that I could pickup my camper van. I was supposed to walk to the International Terminal at Auckland Airport to catch the “yellow bus” to the Britz campervan pickup location, but the “yellow bus” happened to be parked right outside my hotel picking up passengers to take to the airport. I hopped on the bus and arrived about 40 minutes early at Britz. I had a coffee while I waited and picked up some brochures.
When the time was ready I signed all the paperwork and picked up my campervan; a new model 2014 Mercedes Sprinter LWB (Long Wheel Base). The camper only had 30,000km on the clock, and looked immaculate inside. I drove back to my hotel that I stayed at the night before so that I could pickup my bags, and go to the grocery store across the street. I picked up $120 worth of groceries, and got myself a bottle of wine and a case of beer.
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It was time to hit the road! My goal over the next few days is to do the Northwest loop and visit Cape Reinga. I put in my first destination; Davenport. Davenport played a role during World War 2 and was used as an outpost to spot enemy ships.
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The next stop was Orewa Beach, where I walked along the beach and also picked up some more groceries because I forgot some. I forgot coffee, which is the most important thing!
The next stop was Waiwera Thermal Resort, which was quite relaxing. I relaxed in the thermal pools, and went down the waterslides a few times. When I was in the hot pools a small girl (about age 4-5) jumped into the pool from a kids play area, and couldn’t swim and started drowning. The mother was nowhere to be seen, and the lifeguard was too busy reading a book to even notice. I grabbed the girl and started looking around to see if I could find the mother. The girl was crying, breathing, and appeared to be okay since it was only about 5 seconds of panic before I saved her. The mother came up to me and grabbed the girl out of my arms and didn’t even say thank you, and stormed off. I feel so sorry for that girl. I went up to the lifeguard and explained what just happened and she didn’t even seem to care. This really disappointed me because she’s getting paid to watch over people and save lives. Apparently her book is more important. I left the thermal pools at around 2:00pm.
I had a two hour drive ahead of me towards Whangarei. I was getting tired along the way so I pulled over and made myself a cup of coffee. Good thing I purchased that coffee! I was almost in Whangarei, when I saw a sign that distracted me; Waipu Caves. I decided to detour to Waipu, and I’m glad that I did. They were glow worm caves, and best of all they were all natural and free! I took a ton of photos trying to get the right balance of light and finally got a few that I was satisfied with. I also hiked along a small 1.5 hour hike to a beautiful lookout.
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It was getting dark now so I had to find a place to stay. I drove into Whangarei, and found a spot on a small nature reserve near the aquatic centre. I parked next to two other campers, and cooked myself some dinner. Dinner was pasta with home made meat sauce.
I worked on my blog for a bit, and had a beer, before going to bed. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting Whangarei falls before heading up to Cape Reinga.

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